Always an Open Door

"With what shall I come before God, and bow myself before God on high? God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:6,8)

Sometimes an open door is all you need. You're not looking for a church to tell you its own version of right and wrong.

Reconnect your spirit without disconnecting your mind.

You're not looking for a church that has all the answers. Or a church that includes only the right kind of people. You're looking for a church where you can bring your doubts,your questions, your fears, and find a welcoming, open community willing to share them.

The doors to our churches are always open and within, you will find a quiet place for prayer and a nurturing community ready to help you find your voice and your vocation to the world in Christ's name. Come and see.

Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance and marks the beginning of Lent; the symbolic forty days in the wilderness for us as a time for self-examination and fasting. The imposition of a cross of ashes on the forehead is the way we express sorrow for our sins and faults. Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of a season of denial. We are often asked, "What are you giving up for Lent?" And we reply with many of the standard items: candy, cigarettes, alcohol, etc. But Lent is not a season of "giving up." It is a season in which we are called to deny ourselves those things which cause us to focus on personal comfort and pleasure and keep us from examining our relationship with God, which is usually wanting from a lack of attention due to the quenching of the desires of the world. We deny ourselves those things which block our connection to God.

Lent is a season of denial and self-examination.

And as they are so pleasurable, we must spend this season of denial in prayer and meditation, aware of the temptations to return to the world in which we are so comfortable. We are called to "the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word."

Join us at St. Matthew's in Oakland at Noon on Ash Wednesday or at St. John's at 7PM for Holy Eucharist and the Imposition of Ashes.

"Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

It's in the Bag! Needs You!

It's in the Bag! is growing and needs your help to provide food for at-risk children in the elementary schools of Garrett County. Your donation in any amount will help feed a hungry child over the weekend during the school year. Children who are well fed over the weekend show up at school on Monday ready to learn and studies show that these children do better when they are well nourished. A donation of $280 will feed a child for the entire school year. We're working to raise $15,000 between now and the start of the new school year. Will you help? Click on the donate button and you will be responsible for a child ready to be educated and grow.

May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find your light ever burning - he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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Rev. John Grant Funeral Procession

February 7, 2012

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Your donation in any amount today will support the ministries of The Episcopal Church in Garrett County. It will help to feed school children through It's in the Bag, provide food, shelter, and clothing for people in need, a meal for someone who is hungry through Stephen's Table, and sustain our on line webcasts through The Church on the Web. Donations are tax-deductible and go directly to our mission efforts.

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